Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ignoring Is Bliss

We always like to ignore info that contradicts our delusions so I'm sure the report yesterday that NY City's murder rate is at its lowest in 4 decades will actually be taken as bad news if taken at all by everyone who thinks the only way to a lower crime rate is through locking everyone up. All through the last few decades of overincarceration, NY has stood as a counter that effective law enforcement and applied data analysis, introduced to NYC by William Bratton, who has now seen similar results in Los Angeles, can do more and better than prisons to bring victimization under control and at lower costs to state and local budgets. Yes, NYC's murder rate is still 3 times that of London and 4 times Tokyo, but, hey, we're America. We kill each other. But the overall crime rates are lower than other places looking to add cells, too, rather than NY's dilemma of empty cells. The lesson is clear. So let's just keep ignoring it. The crime victims won't really care, will they?

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